Most titled Rugby teams in the world

Rugby is one of the most popular sports around the world, with the games roots dating back to the 1800s. Since then, there have been some international teams who have stood above the rest as the best rugby teams of all time, with this list detailing the very best.

New Zealand

You don’t have to watch rugby for very long or be an expert to realise that New Zealand are one of the biggest powerhouses in the world. The All Blacks are a feared team and this dominance has led to a huge number of titles.

-Tied for most World Cup titles with 3

-18 Tri Nations and Rugby Championship titles

-Longest period as the number one ranked team in the world

The three achievements above don’t really tell the whole story when it comes to just how good New Zealand have been. The sport was introduced to New Zealand in the 1870s, having been brought over by Charles Monro and the Original All Blacks were formed in 1903, defeating Australia 22-3 in their first game.

It was a sign of things to come as New Zealand would quickly start do dominate sides. In the teams first tour of the British Isles, New Zealand won 34 out of the 35 games on the tour. Whenever the British and Irish Lions came, New Zealand won almost every time, with the All Blacks winning ten of the 12 series between the sides so far.

Despite dominating the world, New Zealand did not have many trophies to show for it, before the World Cup was introduced. New Zealand have been brilliant in the World Cup so far, winning the first tournament as well as two more in the 2010s. In all of the World Cups held since 1987, New Zealand have only finished outside the top four once, a quarter final loss to France in 2007.

The Tri Nations was first organised in 1996 as a competition originally between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The competition became the Rugby Championship when Argentina joined in 2012. New Zealand has dominated the championship.

The All Blacks have 18 titles of the competition since 1996. To put that into context, the other three teams only have 8 titles combined. New Zealand has dominated the championship and has added many titles to their record.

In terms of total test match victories, New Zealand have by far the most with 473 wins since 1903. That is 43 more wins than England in second place as well as the All Blacks having by far the highest win percentage. New Zealand have also been ranked as the number one team for the longest time, holding that position from 2009 to 2019.

Part of New Zealand’s dominance is because they have had some of the best rugby players of all time. Guys like Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu and Kieran Read have helped the side to such success, with New Zealand also having the top scorer in international rugby thanks to Dan Carter who helped New Zealand to their 2011 and 2015 World Cup titles.

I think if you ask any rugby fan they will say that New Zealand are by far the best international rugby team of all time. They hold countless international rugby records that make New Zealand by far the best international team.

New Zealand Fixtures & Results

South Africa

The Springboks have a messy but successful history in international rugby and especially in recent years, South Africa are one of the world best teams.

-Tied for most World Cup titles with 3

-Four Tri Nations/ Rugby Championship titles

-Current World Cup holders

South Africa were another team who introduced to rugby in the 1890s, but they had a very different start to international rugby when compared to New Zealand. South Africa often lost to the British Isles when they toured, but South Africa began to become an international force in the near future.

South Africa continued to tour or be toured by British and Irish teams and they have an excellent record in these tours. In both home and away tours, South Africa do not have a negative record against any team, winning as many tours against New Zealand as they have lost. South Africa have never lost a test series to England, Wales, Argentina, Scotland or Ireland.

Against the British and Irish Lions, South Africa have won nine out of the 14 series that have been played, only losing four times. South Africa have won three of the last four tours. In test matches, South Africa only has a negative win record against New Zealand, with a positive record against every other team who plays international rugby.

South Africa have been very impressive in World Cups, but they were barred from the first two. The Springboks played very little international rugby from 1975-1991 due to Apartheid. The Springboks were barred from international rugby in 1985 and so they were not permitted to play in the 1987 and 1991 World Cup.

Apartheid ended in 1991 and South Africa were allowed back into World Rugby in 1992. This return to World Rugby also included South Africa hosting the 1995 World Cup. South Africa would win that first World Cup in one of the best moments in the countries sporting history.

South Africa returned to prominence in 2007 when they defeated England for their second title. Despite losing to New Zealand in the Group Stage, South Africa would again defeat England to win the World Cup in 2019, after finishing third in the 2015 and 1999 World Cups.

South Africa have not always had a massive amount of success in the Tri Nations or the Rugby Championship. South Africa have won four titles and have been one of the dominant teams over the past few years. The Springboks have boasted great players like Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana and Tendai Mtawarira.

South Africa Fixtures & Results


-Two World Cup victories

-49 time Bledisloe Cup Winners

-338 Test Match victories

The Wallabies were another of the British colonies introduced to rugby in the 1890s, with Australia winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team. Australia would lose the first test match between them and New Zealand, but this began one of the best rivalries in international rugby.

Australia have no always had massive success in international rugby as they have really struggled against New Zealand. Against the All Blacks New Zealand have only won 45 of the 174 test matches between the two sides. But this does not mean Australia has not had success against other teams.

The Wallabies have a positive win record against international teams like France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Argentina. In fact, Australia has never lost a game to Italy or Japan. While their total success often wavered, the Wallabies have produced some incredibly successful teams, especially in the 1990s.

The Wallabies team of the 1990s helped Australia win two World Cup’s, not losing in either tournament. The impressive part is that both of these tournaments were held outside Australia. The Wallabies have also been to two more World Cup finals, losing to England in 2003 and New Zealand in 2015.

Those teams were led by stars like Michael Lynagh, Matthew Burke and John Eales. Australia have produced international stars like George Gregan, Michael Hooper and David Pocock over the last 20 years even if they do not have any World Cup’s in that time.

In the Tri Nations/ Rugby Championship, Australia have won four titles, including most recently in 2015. Last year they also beat World Champions South Africa twice in the Rugby Championship. Despite a mixed record of success, Australia have produced some of the best international teams of all time.

Australia Fixtures & Results


-Only Northern Hemisphere team to win the World Cup

-29 Six Nations titles

-13 Grand Slam wins

The game of rugby was first established in England, with the team playing their first official test match against Scotland, losing the game 1-0. Despite losing their first ever test match, England have been very successful since.

In the 1900s, England played their first games against some of the newer teams in international rugby, playing against teams like the All Blacks, France and South Africa. England would start to tour teams very early on in international rugby and they never had a huge amount of success, despite these tours being alongside the other British Isles.

England first toured another country in 1963, losing two test matches to New Zealand. England’s first big test series win was Australia as a lot of the series they had previously played were two match series.

England produced a lot of successful World Cup runs, but they only have one championship. England won the 2003 World Cup thanks to a last minute drop goal from Johnny Wilkinson. Despite that 2003 championship, England have not won another World Cup, reaching the final in three different tournaments, losing to South Africa on two of those occasions.

But in the home championship, England have performed a lot better. England are the most successful team In the history of the Five Nations and the Six Nations, winning seven Six Nations titles since the tournament began in 2000.

England has not been that successful in the competition over the last few years, but they have some of the best players in the history of the game. England boast some of the best players in the history of international rugby with guys like Johnny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and Jason Robinson.

Today, the team is not quite as successful despite boasting international superstars like Owen Farrell, Marcus Smith and Ellis Genge. Currently ranked as the fifth based side in the World, England can always produce a good result, winning the three game series in 2022.

England Fixtures & Results


-Third highest World Cup point-scoring team

-Current Six Nations Grand Slam holders

-Number two ranked side in the world

Rugby was first introduced to France in 1872 by English merchants and they played their first international test match in 1906, playing against the New Zealand All Blacks. One of the first things that France did was become involved with the Home Nations, making it the Five Nations in 1910.

The issue for France is that they struggled to compete, earning the Wooden Spoon six times before pulling out of the competition. France would claim their first Home Nations title in 1954, being joint champions with England and Wales. But France would finally claim their own championship in 1959.

France have been involved in every World Cup since the tournament began and they hold one of the records you would not want. France have been to three World Cup finals but have never won the tournament. They are joint holders of the record for most World Cup final losses, but the only team without a win to hold the record.

It began with France’s very impressive display to reach the final in the first World Cup in 1987, losing to New Zealand. France would again reach the World Cup Final in 1999, this time losing comfortably to Australia. Despite a poor group stage in 2011, France managed to reach the final of the 2011 tournament, but lost to New Zealand in New Zealand.

Their last two World Cups have ended at the quarter final stage, but there is a lot f hope for the side moving forward. To begin, France are the current Six Nations champions and are building an incredibly impressive team with World Rugby player of the year Antoine Dupont, alongside French players Romain Ntamack, Damian Penaud and Gregory Aldritt.

With the 2023 World Cup being held in France, they are the tournament favourites considering some incredibly impressive results over the last few years and it will be exciting to see how they perform at home.

France Fixtures & Results


-Currently ranked as the number one team in the world

-14 outright wins of the Six Nations

-338 Test match victories

Ireland is one of the most historic countries in the history of international rugby, with Dublin University being the first rugby club ever founded. The country lost their first ever test match which was a 7-0 loss to England in 1875. Ireland claimed their first win in 1881.

Ireland are one of three teams to have competed in every Six Nations championship and they have had success in every iteration of the tournament. Ireland won four outright Home Nations titles as well as six more Five Nations titles.

The Irish team have had mixed success in their history and have had some dominant era’s in international rugby, being particularly impressive over the last decade. Ireland have won three Six Nations titles over the last decade including winning the Grand Slam in 2018. Despite this success, Ireland have never performed well in the World Cup.

Ireland Rugby are sadly known for not being very good at the World Cup. The Irish team has often peaked in between World Cups and it has led to them never getting past the quarter finals. Ireland have made it our of the group stages at all but one of the World Cup’s, but have never made it past the quarter-finals.

It is a very disappointing problem for Ireland, but they are coming off the back of the teas most impressive achievement in international rugby. As they do not have a World Cup title, Ireland winning a three game series in New Zealand is an incredibly impressive achievement and it sets them up really well for the World Cup in France in 2023.

Ireland Fixtures & Results


-28 Total Six Nations championship titles

-12- time Six Nations Grand Slam Winners

-Three appearances in the World Cup Semi-Finals

Wales are another of the British Isles who took to rugby very early on in the sports creation. Wales began playing international rugby in 1881 and they played against England in a very heavy loss. Wales struggled to get many wins in their first decade, but experience a golden age from 1893 to 1913.

Wales finally won their first Home Nations Championship in 1893, winning the Triple Crown at the same time. Wales would have more success no matter what the Six Nations was called. They have 12 Grand Slam titles, including four since the competition has been known as the Six Nations since 2000.

Sadly for Wales, they are another team who have never had a huge amount of success at the World Cup, despite finishing third in the very first tournament. This 1987 performance still remains Wales best performance in a rugby World Cup, finishing fourth in 2011 and again in 2019, losing in the Semi-Final to eventual World Cup champions South Africa.

Wales have been the most successful Six Nations team over the last few years, winning the Grand Slam in 2019 and the Six Nations title in 2021. Their record against the home nations is impressive, with only a losing record against England, impressive considering how good France and Ireland are.

The Welsh team today still boasts some international rugby legends, including Alun Wyn Jones who is the most capped test match international in the history of international rugby. The Welsh legends include Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Thomas and Shane Williams.

Wales Fixtures & Results

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